If any of you out there have considered hosting a house concert, you should think about making that happen. It has been a while since I played one, but across America and the UK, they are high on the list of favorite types of shows. The crowds and the energy (oddly, the same things that make me love playing big festivals) make these intimate shows memorable, and last night was no exception.
Peter and I played at possibly the most beautiful home I've ever seen, but don't let your less-than-perfect home deter you from hosting a house concert. We were just south of Birmingham, Alabama, and the weather was perfect for an outdoor soiree. It wasn't a huge crowd -- maybe 30 people -- but every one of those 30 folks was a music appreciator. That makes all the difference. The folks at SmallStages.com are discerning listeners who book only professional and entertaining acts, so as an audience member, you're guaranteed a good show, whether or not you're familiar with the musician.
Hell, maybe I should start hosting them at my place. It's small, but all that really matters is that you bring a good musician to perform. A few snacks don't hurt, but since the crowd brings folding chairs and their own alcohol, it's a pretty low-key event to host.
Think of all the kinds of people you eliminate when you move the concert to your living room or backyard. Gone are the drunks on the barstool (however fun they might be for stage banter), the folks who are only going out to pick up people, the bartenders who loudly empty garbage cans full of empty bottles at the most inopportune times (the tender ballad or the best cello solo), and, most importantly, the guy who screams "Freebird," still thinking that's clever in some ironic way. You can bring in an opening act, or you can skip that part all together and make the whole evening the main event.
Don't get me wrong, I do love playing in a bar. I wouldn't do so otherwise because there's not really a need. In fact, I'm quite looking forward to tonight's show at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta (doors at 8, $8, we play second in the lineup, not sure of the exact time), and if the "Freebird" guy is there, I'll probably even genuinely laugh. But that's because playing music makes me happy, no matter the setting. I just think that a music-loving audience (like most of you who read my blog) would really enjoy the intimacy of the house concert. And let me know if you hear of a good one... I might want to join you.
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